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Travel Business Lounge | For Travel and Tour Entrepreneurs

Travel Business Lounge | For Travel and Tour Entrepreneurs

By Kara Myers

Welcome to the Travel Business Lounge, a place that celebrates female entrepreneurs doing big things in the tourism industry and that aims to inspire other women to do the same.

Tune in each week as your host, Kara Myers, interviews successful travel planners, tour operators, and travel influencers paving the way in the tourism industry. Speaking from experience, each guest shares business hacks, marketing strategies, and productivity tips that that will help you take immediate action in starting and scaling the travel business of your dreams.
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043: Lessons In Launching From A Brand New Travel Business
043: Lessons In Launching From A Brand New Travel Business
I've spoken to many women at various stages of their business, but today's episode is unique. It's the first time I'm speaking to someone who literally launched their business the day before we recorded this episode. Now you might hear that and think, why would you interview someone who is at such an early stage of their business? What knowledge can they possibly share when they're only one day into officially running it? And all I have to say to that is, please give this episode a chance because there’s so much you can learn if you want to launch your business in a really intentional way. Lee Friedman of Mango Tree Travel, walks us through her experience launching a brand new business. She's so clever and so intentional with every step that she takes leading up to this launch that I think our conversation provides a great roadmap for anyone else who is interested in learning how to launch a business the right way. Lee is not someone who just slapped together a website and put it online and said that her business was now alive. She was incredibly strategic and really treated this new business like it was real and had potential, even when it was just an idea in her head. In this episode, Lee takes us step by step through her launch process. She shares how she came up with the idea for her business and the initial steps that she took. She also shares what she chose to spend money on, because of course, resources are limited in those early days, especially for the majority of us who aren't getting any kind of external funding or help. We also talk about how she developed a very clear brand identity and clear message from the very start. I absolutely love her website and branding, so I really enjoyed our conversation about that. And perhaps most impressively, Lee shares how she managed to build an audience and a mailing list before she even launched her website. Just keep in mind that her business officially launched the day before we recorded this episode and she already had a decent-sized mailing list at that time. Lee is not an influencer and she's not someone starting a business with a big social media following. She's a busy mom and a full-time lawyer. So it's just super impressive and inspiring to hear how she managed to do this. This episode is one of my absolute favorites to date, it was fascinating to learn about Lee’s approach to launching her business. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed recording it! Find the show notes and resources mentioned in the episode here. And if you loved this episode, please share it with a friend!
49:19
August 23, 2022
042: Behind The Scenes Of Mini Voyager - The Wildly Popular Travel Kit For Kids
042: Behind The Scenes Of Mini Voyager - The Wildly Popular Travel Kit For Kids
Have you ever stumbled across a business that is just so brilliant that you really stop and wonder how that concept hadn't always existed? That's exactly how I felt when I first discovered Mini Voyager, a travel product business that sells customized travel kits for kids. I first learned about them when a friend of mine shared a photo on her Instagram of her daughter playing with one of these travel kits. My friend wrote how it had kept her daughter entertained for the full five-hour-long fight. She barely needed any screen time and it was just a super low-stress experience for her as a mom. Even though I don't have kids, I was immediately intrigued because that’s quite the review. I looked up their Instagram and went on their website, and the more I learned about this company, the more I just fell in love with it. So I decided to reach out to the founder, Bri Hepworth, to invite her onto the podcast. She was just super lovely and agreed to an interview. I’m excited for you to hear everything Bri shares in this episode. She talks about the ins and outs of her business, including how she came up with the idea for Mini Voyager. By the way, isn’t that the greatest name ever for a travel kit company for kids? Bri also shares how she's grown the business so quickly in just a few years, as well as some of her plans for the future. And she gave us a real peek behind the curtain of the ins and outs of her business as well. This was one of my favorite parts of our conversation because even though Mini Voyager has grown a lot and does have quite a big following, it really is a family-run business in the truest sense of the word, which I just absolutely love. Bri is so down-to-earth and inspirational in the way she has grown this business while also looking after her family with four young kids and seemingly always having a positive attitude. I love what she's doing with the business and the way that she approaches entrepreneurship and I cannot wait for you to hear her story. Find the show notes and resources mentioned in the episode here. And if you loved this episode, please share it with a friend!
34:49
August 16, 2022
041: Travel Coaching 101: A Look Into The Industry's Newest Niche With The Woman Who Pioneered It
041: Travel Coaching 101: A Look Into The Industry's Newest Niche With The Woman Who Pioneered It
Today's episode is all about travel coaching and we're hearing from no other than the woman who helped pioneer this new and fast-growing sector of the travel industry, Sahara Rose, the founder of The Travel Coach Network. This isn't the first time we've covered travel coaching on the show. Back in episode 20, I chatted with Geneva Lutomski, the founder of Unwrap Your Map, which is a travel coaching service that specifically aims to help young adults take the plunge and travel abroad. In today's episode with Sahara, we dive even further into the world of travel coaching and talk through what it means to be a travel coach, the different niches that you can specialize in within the travel coaching industry, how to determine which is best for you, and how to get started and land your first clients as well. Sahara also shares her personal journey as a travel coach and how she has grown her business specifically in the wellness niche. This episode is really essential listening if you are at all interested in travel coaching, but even if you're not, I think there is still something to be learned from Sahara, as she really does have a brilliant business mind and we dive into topics around publicity and marketing as well. Find the show notes and resources mentioned in the episode here. And if you loved this episode, please share it with a friend!
46:35
August 09, 2022
040: Starting A Travel Blog in 2022? Why There's Never Been A Better Time
040: Starting A Travel Blog in 2022? Why There's Never Been A Better Time
If you've ever thought about one day starting your own travel blog, but you just haven't found the motivation, or perhaps you worry that you've missed the opportunity, this episode will surely inspire you to finally take the plunge. Megan Singleton of Blogger at Large is an industry veteran who first began travel writing in 2006 before launching her own blog in 2009. In this episode, she shares why she believes it is now easier than ever before to grow a travel blog that ranks highly on Google, despite increasing competition. And the key is SEO. We've talked about SEO and its importance on the show before, but what I especially love about my talk with Megan, is that she breaks down the exact formula that she uses to rank well on Google. She shares her process from start to finish, including the tools that she uses to find low competition high-value keywords, and the tools that she uses to then verify that the content that she's written is fully optimized. Megan also reveals that she doesn't write all of her own blog posts herself from scratch. After doing the research and determining her topic and her keywords, she then outsources the actual blog writing most of the time. And then once those blogs are complete, she'll go back and tweak them and make them into her own voice. She goes into a lot more detail about that process in this episode, which I just found fascinating because it goes to show that there are other options out there if you are short on time and can't imagine ever being able to pump out new blog posts on a weekly basis, or if you find that initial stage of blog writing really arduous. We also touch on how she transitioned to eventually offering tours to her readers. So be sure to stick around until the end of the episode, to hear our chat on that. I loved my conversation with Megan, not only because she is super passionate and knowledgeable, but because she also makes everything sound so achievable. She has such a go-getter attitude, but also a really pragmatic step-by-step approach to success. I'm so excited to share this episode with you. I’m sure you're gonna walk away feeling inspired and ready to finally take your blog to the next level. Just one last note before we dive into the rest of the show notes. As always, I appreciate any feedback you have on the show. Whether that's leaving a review, giving the show a rating, or just sending me an email or messaging me on Instagram. I really love to hear from you all, so please let me know what you think of this episode or previous ones. It also means so much if you could help me grow the podcast by sharing it with a friend, who perhaps is interested in travel entrepreneurship, or just likes to hear interesting stories on women doing cool things in the industry. Nothing beats a recommendation from a friend, so if you wouldn't mind extending a recommendation for this podcast, I would massively appreciate it. Find the show notes and resources mentioned in the episode here.
50:08
August 02, 2022
039: How Her Mission To Empower Women in Travel Is Changing The Tourism Industry
039: How Her Mission To Empower Women in Travel Is Changing The Tourism Industry
An estimated 80 to 85% of all travel-related purchases and decisions are made by women, and women make up a majority of the workforce across the industry. But did you know that less than 10% of those in higher management positions in the travel industry identify as female? Iris Serbanescu is on a mission to change the status quo and help women and non-binary folks, especially those of color or who are part of the LGBTQ community, launch and scale their own travel businesses. In January of 2022, she founded wmnsWORK, an accelerator program aimed at empowering folks with the knowledge and support to attain their goals of entrepreneurship while also furthering ownership and increasing gender equality in this sector. There are quite a few people I've met in this industry who are educators and interested in course creation or leading trainings or workshops for newcomers in their niche. I think this is a great episode if you've ever considered transitioning out of what you're doing into a teaching role. Whether that be working as a travel agent or running your own tour company, and instead transitioning into teaching others how to essentially follow in your footsteps. On the other hand, if you are in the early stages of your business and interested in being taught by some of the brightest minds in the industry, and you'd like to connect with people who are equally passionate about gender equality and supporting a great cause, then I definitely recommend checking out wmnsWORK. The next cohort is starting September 19, 2022, so you've still got until August 1st to apply if you're interested. Not all applicants will necessarily get a place, you do have to apply to be considered, but definitely check it out if it's something that interests you. As I listened back to our conversation it definitely sounds like I'm an affiliate for her program because I endorse it so much. But I'm not an affiliate, I just love what Iris is doing and I'm so excited to see women helping one another achieve big goals in this industry. I genuinely believe that the more we support one another, the further we go and the more we can achieve. I'm excited to share what Iris is doing and really believe in the mission she supports. Iris comes with a wealth of knowledge and shares some pretty jarring statistics on gender inequality in the travel industry. It was fascinating to hear how she started this accelerator program and what she's learned since it first launched earlier this year. Iris is also super charismatic, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy this episode! Find the show notes and resources mentioned in the episode here. And if you loved this episode, please share it with a friend!
40:26
July 26, 2022
038: Cultivating A Successful Side Hustle As a Travel Blogger
038: Cultivating A Successful Side Hustle As a Travel Blogger
Being a full-time entrepreneur is not for everyone, there are benefits to maintaining your full-time job while building your own business on the side. Today's guest is a brilliant example of someone who has created a super successful side hustle doing just that. Sara Marano of the popular blog and YouTube channel ‘The Average Tourist’, aims to help others working 9 to 5 to make the most of their travels. She understands the desires and pain points of her audience because she herself continues to work at her corporate job while also making time to travel and grow her blog. I loved my conversation with Sara because she is a wonderful example of what is possible when you are passionate and consistently show up despite having limited time and resources. She also reminds us that you don't have to want your side hustle to eventually become your full-time gig. You might be happy in your career and enjoy the work that you're doing. Maybe you like the stability that it allows, but you also enjoy putting some creative entrepreneurial energy into a side business that’s just your own. If that’s the case, then embrace that. Regardless of what your initial intention is with starting a side hustle, and whether it does eventually become your full-time job, the skills and discipline that you learn when running a side hustle alongside a full-time job are invaluable. Sara is extremely relatable and down to earth. Her passion is magnetic and the insight she shares on how she manages to continually publish new blog posts, create new YouTube videos and grow her following on social media, is both inspiring and super helpful. So I hope you enjoy this episode! Find the show notes and resources mentioned in the episode here. And if you loved this episode, please share it with a friend!
40:23
July 19, 2022
037: How This Family-Run Tour Company Caught Rick Steves' Attention
037: How This Family-Run Tour Company Caught Rick Steves' Attention
In the age of social media, it can sometimes feel impossible to grow a business without sharing your life on Instagram or spending big bucks on expensive ads. However, today's guest is proof that patience, hard work, and of course a super high-quality product, can still result in fantastic growth. Lisa Benjamin and her husband Tom first launched Go Cotswolds, a boutique bus tour company that takes visitors around the Cotswolds, in 2014. What started as a one-man operation has grown into an award-winning business with over 900 Trip Advisor reviews. Their tours are so highly acclaimed that even Rick Steves himself paid them a visit and wrote them a raving review in one of his guidebooks. In this episode we hear Lisa's story of how she and her husband have built Go Cotswolds up to what it is today, using organic and grassroots strategies that prove you don't need a big budget or a huge following on social media to have a super successful business. Lisa is a breath of fresh air and learning how this tour company has grown over the years is so inspiring. So I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed recording it. Find the show notes and resources mentioned in the episode here. And if you loved this episode, please share it with a friend!
29:13
July 12, 2022
036: The Surprising Sales Funnel Strategy That Transformed Her Business
036: The Surprising Sales Funnel Strategy That Transformed Her Business
Today's guest has spent the last decade traveling and working abroad and now makes a living, teaching others how to do the same. Richelle Gamlam shares the story of how a bad experience teaching abroad in China, inspired her to design a course and a coaching program that helps people avoid the same mistakes she made. However, just like her first year in China wasn't smooth sailing, Richelle's journey as an entrepreneur has come with its ups and downs. She is super transparent about the many challenges that she's faced. Despite receiving an overwhelming amount of emails with questions about moving abroad and working in China, her first program was pretty much met by crickets. And it wasn't until she implemented this really surprising sales funnel strategy that suddenly the number of engaged paying clients began to skyrocket. And honestly, I was shocked when she told me what that strategy was. Richelle is a bundle of energy and lots of laughs, but also super honest and down to earth about how difficult it is to be an entrepreneur paving your own way. Not only will you take away some really ingenious advice on how to create a successful sales funnel, but also you'll definitely feel inspired after hearing Richelle's story. She's proof that if you never give up and you dedicate your energy to what you're most passionate about, good things are bound to happen. Lastly, for full transparency, after learning all about her incredible program called The Move Abroad Escape Plan Bootcamp, I was super happy to accept her offer to become an affiliate for it. So if after hearing Richelle's story, you're feeling inspired to move abroad and you wanna support me as an affiliate partner, then I highly encourage you to click through the link in the show notes. I would only ever be an affiliate for programs that I genuinely believe offer great value. And this is certainly one of them. However, even more importantly, I just hope you enjoy today's episode. Richelle really has a fantastic story to share, and the business insights that she offers are both fascinating and enlightening. I'm so excited to share this episode with you! Find the show notes and resources mentioned in the episode here. And if you loved this episode, please share it with a friend!
53:36
July 05, 2022
035: How To Streamline Your Workflow And Book More Clients
035: How To Streamline Your Workflow And Book More Clients
Do you ever find yourself writing the same emails over and over again, or spending ages searching through files and folders on your laptop for documents that you use all the time? Or do you worry that you're gonna struggle to provide quality customer service as your booking numbers continue to increase? It’s super essential to think about how you can optimize your processes, whether you're at the early stage, or a growth stage of your business. And today’s guest will help you with all of this. Korrine Johnson, Founder of the Travel Biz Boss is an experienced travel agent who specializes in helping entrepreneurs organize and automate their travel businesses. She does a brilliant job of talking through the exact steps she's taken in her business to work smarter, not harder. In addition to talking us through those processes, she also shares the tools that she uses in her business. This is a wonderful episode for if you want to continue growing your business, but you worry that you either can't handle the increased demand and/or can't afford to hire additional help. Or you're concerned that if you do continue to take on that demand, you're going to jeopardize the quality of the customer experience. This is also a great episode if you're just starting out because as Korrine says, the best time to implement these systems is in the beginning when you do actually have a bit of extra time. Then once your business does start to grow, you can actually handle that growth. When it comes to business, I'm generally a very organized person. But recently I've fallen off the bandwagon a bit. But after speaking to Korrine, I literally spent about three hours reorganizing all of my folders, creating new email templates, and setting up new automations and it felt so good afterward. I’ve saved time by automating repeated tasks while getting so much more done. And when I’m not working, I can fully relax without the distraction of unfinished projects bouncing around in my head. That’s the beauty of optimization and automation and there really is no better person to talk on that subject than Korrine Johnson! Find the show notes and resources mentioned in the episode here. And if you loved this episode, please share it with a friend!
35:33
June 28, 2022
034: The Secret Recipe For A Thriving Cycle Tour Business
034: The Secret Recipe For A Thriving Cycle Tour Business
What if the secret to designing great tours and running a super successful travel business, all came down to a fairly simple recipe? One that requires a lot of hard work and grit, and definitely a lot of passion, but that technically anyone could follow? On today's episode, Lauren Hefferon, the founder of Ciclismo Classico, reveals the recipe she continues to follow for success. After 33 long years in the business, Lauren is an absolute industry veteran and I am so honored to have her on the show. She founded Ciclismo Classico way back in 1989 and was actually the first female founder of any cycling tour company. We chat about how her business has evolved over the years, and why she thinks creativity is key to designing good tours. And of course, she walks us through the recipe that she follows for a successful business. If you're in need of a little motivation to finally launch your own tour company, or if you just like a peek behind the curtain on how Lauren continues to grow her business, then this is the episode for you. Find the show notes and resources mentioned in the episode here. And if you loved this episode, please share it with a friend!
34:45
June 21, 2022
033: How To Reward And Retain Guides Long Term
033: How To Reward And Retain Guides Long Term
Today we discuss the best ways to retain and reward your tour guides long term. We cover the key to hiring the right people, how to reward those people, and the most effective strategy for retaining tour guides in the long run. 
14:39
June 14, 2022
032: How to Stand Out In A Crowded Industry
032: How to Stand Out In A Crowded Industry
Today's guest is coming with a wealth of knowledge and experience all the way from Australia. We are joined by Steph Myers, who is a travel agent, business owner, course creator, and the host of the popular podcast Unplug in Paradise. It’s a great podcast, that's focused on teaching travel agents how to niche down, step out of their comfort zone and really show up as their true, authentic selves online. And I can't think of a better person than Steph to help guide travel agents on how to do just that. Steph has an incredible journey, which she shares on this episode. We talk about how she got her start over 10 years ago, working in various agencies, then becoming an agency owner herself, and eventually deciding to turn her focus more towards teaching other aspiring travel agents how to succeed in the industry. And she does that with her course and also through her podcast. This is a great episode to listen to if you've ever struggled with self-doubt or imposter syndrome, or just some of the challenges that come with being a solopreneur and having to stay self-motivated and focused. Steph is super relatable, down-to-earth, and completely transparent in some of the challenges she's faced in her business and how she's overcome them. Steph also reveals what she's learned over the years now that she's had the experience of being both a travel agent and someone who teaches travel agents and speaks to other agents on her podcast and just in the industry. She's got a lot of interesting perspectives to bring to the table, so enjoy this episode! Find the show notes and resources mentioned in the episode here. And if you loved this episode, please share it with a friend!
40:10
May 31, 2022
031: Why Conferences Are Key To A Super Successful Travel Blog
031: Why Conferences Are Key To A Super Successful Travel Blog
In this episode, we are talking all about travel blogging and content creation in 2022. I am joined by Kirsten Maxwell, who is the brilliant mind behind Kids Are A Trip and Multigenerational Vacations, two fantastic websites that help families travel better. Kirsten first started Kids Are A Trip back in 2014 and after years of growing this really successful blog, she decided in 2020 that she is going to take on a new project and niche even further down, specifically to multi-generational vacations. Kirsten brings a really unique perspective specifically on blogging because she can talk us through how she got started in 2014 and what worked for her then, what she's learned in that journey, and what she's focusing on. But also what it's like starting a travel blog today because obviously, a lot has changed in the world of blogging. I absolutely loved interviewing Kirsten because she was really an open book, super down to earth had really great practical advice. One thing she said, and that we've really focused on throughout the episode because it's something that I haven't really touched on in previous interviews, are conferences. Kirsten tells us how attending these has been a great way to grow and monetize her business. It's really interesting to hear about the impact that these conferences have had on her business, and also some of the learnings and takeaways she's had after attending. I know there are a lot of people out there who have a lot of knowledge to share and are interested in starting a travel blog, but may be a bit concerned about whether they've already missed that window of opportunity. Every year you read these articles, or you hear these stories of people talking about how it's harder today than ever before to make it in travel blogging, how the landscape has just completely changed. But every single year we have these new travel bloggers rising to the top and having a lot of success. And it was definitely fascinating, to speak to Kirsten and hear about her experience of starting a new website in 2020. Though there are definitely challenges and she's still growing that business, I do think it's just proof, once again, that it is absolutely still possible to start a successful travel blog. You just have to approach it with a lot of strategy and intention. And luckily, because we're 15 years down the line from when travel blogging first became a thing, there's so much knowledge and so many resources out there. In a way, it's a lot easier to get ahead because you're not having to scrape around to find information or just learn through trial and error on your own. The information is out there and as Kirsten shares today, you can learn a lot in these conferences and they're definitely worth attending. So I really hope you enjoy this episode, it’s such a good one! Find the show notes and resources mentioned in the episode here. And if you loved this episode, please share it with a friend!
39:39
May 24, 2022
030: Creative B2B Networking Ideas For Any Tour Business
030: Creative B2B Networking Ideas For Any Tour Business
Today I'm joined by Alexandra Kenin, who is the founder of Urban Hiker San Francisco. Her business model is super interesting because though we've had quite a few tour companies on the show now, their approach has been very different. Even though Alex does offer her tours directly to consumers, a big focus of our conversation today was all about the B2B market and how she's grown her business through networking. And before you write this episode off because you think networking is a dirty word, I really want you to wait and hear it from Alex's perspective. Her approach is all about forming relationships with other businesses. She does this as someone who loves meeting new people and loves establishing new friendships. When you think of it in those terms, networking can be anything but a dirty word. Alex shares her story of how she's grown Urban Hiker San Francisco, largely through working with corporate groups. She shares how she's partnered with match.com to offer dating hikes where ten to twenty single people show up and get to go on a group hike and maybe meet the love of their life. She's also partnered with several local DMCs, or destination management companies, that specialize in organizing trips for large corporate groups. This has been a huge component of her business and it's fascinating to hear how making connections with these DMCs has enabled her to grow her client base. She even offers her tours on Zola, which is the wedding website and guests to a wedding can buy her tours on a registry for their loved ones. Alex’s approach is just so different from so many other more traditional tour companies. There is nothing wrong with the traditional way, but it's nice to hear about alternate routes that people could take to grow their businesses. As it shows, there's really no one right way to go about it. Alex is full of ideas, she’s got such an entrepreneurial mind and fantastic energy. I'm really excited for you to hear her story. Find the show notes and resources mentioned in the episode here. And if you loved this episode, please share it with a friend!
36:47
May 17, 2022
029: TikTok Strategies to Boost Your Travel Brand
029: TikTok Strategies to Boost Your Travel Brand
Jen Ruiz is a phenomenal travel blogger, travel influencer, content creator, and overall business genius. In this episode, she shares the story of how she decided to take 12 trips in 12 months in the lead up to her 30th birthday and how that decision completely transformed her life and opened up a career in travel blogging, with her now having a lot of success on TikTok. Jen is such an inspirational person, she has such a positive take and approach to life and to business. She is a dreamer, like so many of us are in the travel industry, but she's also incredibly strategic and practical in her approach to growing her business. Jen shares loads of really practical tips and strategies in this conversation. I particularly enjoyed our deep dive into TikTok strategies for travel brands. TikTok is such an important platform nowadays because it’s where people are seeing the best return on time investment and overall effort right now. It's been great to chat with Jen about how she's grown on TikTok, the types of posts that she's creating, and some of the challenges of the platform like dealing with haters. TikTok is pretty notorious for being a bit of an uglier platform when it comes to nasty comments, but Jen's take on how best to handle and treat those kinds of comments is just really fascinating and inspiring. I hope you all enjoy this episode, and that you can take away some really practical tips to help grow your own travel business. If you loved this episode, please share it with a friend!
46:52
May 10, 2022
028: How Up Norway is Revolutionizing Tailor-Made Travel Through Technology
028: How Up Norway is Revolutionizing Tailor-Made Travel Through Technology
In today's episode, we talk all about harnessing technology to help grow your travel business. Torunn from Up Norway is the founder of this incredible travel curation brand that is focused on sustainable luxury. They put together tailor-made luxury journeys within Norway, Torunn’s home country, for guests from around the world. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to speak with Torunn and hear about her passion for sustainability and her commitment to working with sustainable suppliers and creating partnerships that benefit both parties involved. She's so down to earth, so transparent in her approach, and also such an innovator in this industry. What I found really fascinating in this conversation was Torunn’s use of technology to streamline her processes, but also to get to know her customers and figure out what exactly they're looking for, even if they don't know. I think a lot of times business owners approach the technology side of their business as a bit of a pain point or as an additional thing that needs to be dealt with. Finding the right booking system or the right software is a bit of an afterthought at times, but for Torunn, it's integral to the success of her business. This conversation has really changed my perception of the role of technology within a travel brand. I hope this episode will equally inspire you to re-examine your use of technology within your own business. Find the show notes and resources mentioned in the episode here. And if you loved this episode, please share it with a friend!
43:25
May 03, 2022
027: How to Brand Yourself In The Luxury Travel Market Online
027: How to Brand Yourself In The Luxury Travel Market Online
Today we're talking all about branding and how to brand yourself in the luxury travel market online. I am joined by the fantastic Kristin Richards, who is the owner of Girlboss Designer, a wonderful design agency that specializes in doing web design and branding work for travel businesses specifically. As some of you may know, I started my own design business for female entrepreneurs in the tourism industry in 2020 when I was furloughed from my day job in the travel industry. I was really excited to chat with Kristin because she is a seasoned veteran when it comes to branding and design. In this episode, she’s got some great tips on how to set yourself up for success online. One of the most desirable niches within the travel industry is the luxury travel market, for a variety of reasons. But it's not an easy niche to get into, and one of the keys to succeeding in the luxury travel market is branding yourself well. In this episode, we're focused on very practical approaches you can take to improving your website, your content, and your social media presence. So, there's a lot that we cover in this episode, and I really hope you enjoy it. Find the show notes and resources mentioned in the episode here. And if you loved this episode, please share it with a friend!
35:40
April 26, 2022
026: The Untapped Instagram Strategy For Rapidly Growing Your Travel Agency
026: The Untapped Instagram Strategy For Rapidly Growing Your Travel Agency
In today's episode, I am joined by Marissa Daniels of Spread Your Wings Travel Agency. Marissa started her business in 2019 as a side hustle, which it remains today. Marissa manages to balance a very intense 9-5 alongside a growing travel agency, which has skyrocketed in popularity thanks to a particular marketing strategy that she's using on Instagram. The amazing thing is that Marissa started her business in 2019, and still managed to experience explosive growth regardless of the pandemic. I think Marissa’s Instagram strategy that has gotten her this success is absolutely brilliant and I’m so excited for her to talk us through how and why she’s decided to take this approach, and what her results have been. We also talk about the importance of sticking to your niche and staying in your lane. Marissa is a big believer in knowing your audience and delivering trips or services that cater specifically to your ideal customer. And of course, as a woman who's got a full-time job and is doing this as a side hustle, we do talk quite a bit about how she even manages that. What does her day look like, and how does she maximize her productivity? If you are a travel agent or a travel planner, you absolutely need to listen to this episode. It is so good, and Marissa is completely right when she says Instagram marketing isn’t really being done this way. So, kudos to Marissa for taking charge, being fearless and growing her travel agency this quickly.
43:11
April 19, 2022
025: How To Successfully Pitch Brands As An Influencer in 2022
025: How To Successfully Pitch Brands As An Influencer in 2022
Today’s guest is Rachel Hill of Rachel Travels. She’s a travel influencer, teacher, author, marketing guru, and just an all-around entrepreneurial force. I was so excited when she agreed to come on the podcast because she was just one of those people whose names kept popping up. Rachel is a wealth of knowledge. She’s been an influencer for a long time, but in recent years she has shifted a little bit to teaching others how to be influencers and harness digital marketing to grow their travel brands. This episode is definitely for you if you are an influencer, or want to become one, but you're worried you’ve left it too late. Rachel says it’s not too late, and we dive deep into what it means to be an influencer in 2022. Rachel is a pitching mastermind when it comes to approaching brands and you don't need a million followers on Instagram to benefit from what she’s talking about, she makes that very clear. We talk a lot about what it means to be a micro-influencer, or even a nano-influencer, and the power of smaller influencers. The thing I love most about this episode is that Rachel lays out a roadmap for approaching brands, for partnerships, for sponsorships, and just pitching in general. She describes in plain terms the steps you need to take to be successful in today's market. Our conversation was so inspiring, I loved it and I really hope you do as well.
44:25
April 12, 2022
024: Growing A Highly Profitable Travel Blog WITHOUT Social Media
024: Growing A Highly Profitable Travel Blog WITHOUT Social Media
 There are so many different ways that you can make money while working in travel or tourism. We've heard a lot of different stories of people who are travel planners, women who run their own tour businesses, and we've even heard from a woman who is a travel coach. Today we're going to hear from a woman who has also paved her own path. She is making money by selling road trip guides to places all over the world. Claire Robinson founded her business Zigzag Road Trips a few years ago. And what started as a side hustle has now evolved into a full time job. She publishes these road trips in multiple languages, French, German, and English and she covers destinations as diverse as Oman, Scotland, Slovenia, New Zealand, Iceland, and more. However, perhaps most impressive is the fact that she has built this buisiness without the use of social media. Claire is very upfront from the get-go that she does not like Instagram and so she doesn't even have an Instagram account instead. She's used other strategies like SEO and content marketing to really build a strong following of clients who continue to return to her to buy these road trip guides. She goes into a lot of detail on how she's grown her business to what it is today, the various ways and what she makes money with her business.
34:04
January 25, 2022
023: Incorporating A Charitable Cause Into Your Tour Business
023: Incorporating A Charitable Cause Into Your Tour Business
 I am so thrilled to say that I am joined by Amina Mohammed, the woman behind triple F photo tours, which is a small tour operator that leads photography trips to places all over the world, but specializes in trips to Uganda. She's also the mind behind Camera's For Girls, which is the charity arm of her tour business, which helps support some of the women that guests on her trips to Uganda had the opportunity to actually meet and get to know.  I loved my chat with Amina because she's really one of those women has a dream and goes for it. I also really admire her tenacity because she's built this business. She's very open and honest about the struggles she has faced due to COVID. However, I'm particularly impressed with her commitment to incorporating a philanthropic edge to her business. And I think this is something that we're seeing a lot more often in most industries, but especially in tourism, people wanting to be more sustainability minded, more ethically minded, and so I wanted to bring on a guest who could share their experience of building a tour company. Incorporated those values, but didn't do so just as a marketing ploy. It's obviously attractive to a potential client to see that a business that they're interested in traveling with has those ethical values, but you want to make sure that they're actually following through with the good that they're saying that they're doing and that it's not just a means of selling more tours.She is so committed to this mission beyond just the tourism aspect. She really wants to give back to the communities that she visits, which is just so inspiring. So I really hope you take something away from this episode and maybe inspires you as well to think in different ways of how you could make your own business.
32:47
January 11, 2022
022: Travel Planning 101: How To Kick-Start The Travel Planning Business Of Your Dreams
022: Travel Planning 101: How To Kick-Start The Travel Planning Business Of Your Dreams
Madeline Jhawar founded Italy Beyond The Obvious over a decade ago, after years of being the go-to person for friends and family members, questions regarding travel to Italy. In today's episode, Madeline tells us all about her journey on how she became that travel planning expert, how she founded and grew Italy Beyond The Obivous, and also discusses what are the differences between travel planners and travel agents. Just a few years, Madeline founded Travel Beyond The Obvious , which is this incredible program that teaches people how to become successful travel planners and run their own business. She breaks down how you get started, how you can find your first customers and the importance of niching down and having an expertise in a particular region or a particular area. 
42:36
January 04, 2022
021: How This Tour Company Attracts Locals & Generates Reoccuring Revenue With A Membership Program
021: How This Tour Company Attracts Locals & Generates Reoccuring Revenue With A Membership Program
Kaitlin Calogera is a trailblazer in tourism. In 2018, she founded A Tour of Her Own, the first tourism company in Washington, DC to focus exclusively on women's history. However, that is not the only thing that makes this company so unique. Rather than just use a standard fee-based tour model, TOHO also puts on events and offers a membership program to their community. This helps to attract locals and generate reoccuring revenue -- 2 things difficult to accomplish in the tourism world.  In this episode, we discuss how Kaitlin grew her business, why she opted to create a membership program, and how this business model works when applied to a tour company. She also opens up about the biggest challenges of working in tourism today and how she's continued to scale her business with a team. 
46:55
December 07, 2021
020: What Is Travel Coaching And Why This Niche Might Be The Next Big Thing | Geneva Lutomski of Unwrap Your Map
020: What Is Travel Coaching And Why This Niche Might Be The Next Big Thing | Geneva Lutomski of Unwrap Your Map
Today's episode is all about travel coaching. Geneva is an open book on her journey into becoming a travel coach. We discuss what it means to be a travel coach? What services exactly do you provide as a travel coach and how does that differ from a travel planner or a travel agent, or maybe just a travel influencer? We also touch on how hard it can be to show up authentically on social media when your instinct is to not want to show up at all. And lastly, we also talk about how she found her first clients as a travel coach and what her big plans for the business are going forward.
34:28
November 30, 2021
019: Exploring the B2B Tour Business Model | Nikki Wang of The Ways Beyond
019: Exploring the B2B Tour Business Model | Nikki Wang of The Ways Beyond
Today's episode is a little bit different because we're exploring a side of the tourism industry that we haven't discussed yet on this podcast, and that is the B2B market -- business to business, selling tours to other companies rather than direct to consumer. The Ways Beyond was founded by Nicki Wang and her partner in 2019. Nikki is originally from China, but moved to Paris many years ago and quickly noticed that there seem to be a gap in the tourism market. There are of course, a lot of big bus tours and also more expensive private tour options. However, Nikki wanted to do something that was slightly more elevated, but not for the mass market. And she also wanted to focus on offering cultural experiences rather than just standard tourist. And thus, The Ways Beyond was born. In this episode, Nikki takes us inside how her inbound tourism. Business operates, including the three types of clients she typically deals with and how her services vary slightly, depending on what. She also offers some interesting food for thought on how the business model works and also how she is using one social media platform in particular to grow her business. I've so much admiration for their tenacity and I can really see how this business could continue to flourish in the future.
20:52
November 23, 2021
018: Behind The Scenes of Chicago's #1 Rated Tour Company | Hillary Marzec of Inside Chicago Walking Tours
018: Behind The Scenes of Chicago's #1 Rated Tour Company | Hillary Marzec of Inside Chicago Walking Tours
In today's episode, we are pulling back the curtain and taking a look inside one of Chicago's most highly rated to her companies. Inside Chicago Walking Tours was founded by Hillary Marzec, a solopreneur, in 2015. After years of designing tours on behalf of other companies, she decided it was time to launch a business of her own, where she could take guests inside some of Chicago's most beautiful buildings. In this episode, Hillary reveals some of the benefits and challenges of running her own tour company, which marketing strategies have worked the best and which ones were potentially a waste of money, the reservation booking software that she absolutely swears by, and her strategy for growing her business and finding the best new guides. This is another great episode for anyone interested in starting their own tour company business. And it's also just an inspirational story of a woman who took on the massive challenge of starting a business on her own and who has succeeded in growing that business to become the number one tour on TripAdvisor.
34:43
November 16, 2021
017: How A T-Shirt Idea Grew Into A Multi-Faceted Travel Brand | Caroline Sande of Travel Eat Slay
017: How A T-Shirt Idea Grew Into A Multi-Faceted Travel Brand | Caroline Sande of Travel Eat Slay
Today's story all started with a T-shirt. Caroline Sande loved the slogan, Travel - Eat - Slay, so she decided to have it printed on a t-shirt that she could wear when traveling. After sharing photos of her in it on social media, people began reaching out to ask where they too could buy the same shirt. And within a few month, this idea for a fun t-shirt had evolved into a full-fledged business. Fast forward a few years and Travel Eat Slay is much more than a merchandising company -- it's a community. In addition to selling travel apparel, Caroline also began organising day trips around Europe for other UK-based travel influencers interested in visiting the most Instagrammable places. Together, they traveled to cities like Milan and Venice to take photos of each other and create content, all before flying back to London later that same day. When Covid hit and Caroline was forced to pause her day trips, she launched another business -- the Travel Boxx. This is a quarterly subscription box with must-have travel essentials for her growing community. In today's episode, Caroline walks us through the evolution of her multi-faceted travel brand and shares how she got started with selling merchandise, some of the challenges of being a travel influencer, and lessons she's learned since launching her subscription service. If you've ever considered incorporating merchandise into your business or if you'd like to learn more about working with influencers, this is an especially good episode. SHOW NOTES: https://travelbusinesslounge.com/ FACEBOOK GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/323995252173500 INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/travelbusinesslounge/
29:53
November 09, 2021
016: Email Marketing & List Building Strategies for Travel Businesses | Nicole Barrett of Travelpreneur Academy
016: Email Marketing & List Building Strategies for Travel Businesses | Nicole Barrett of Travelpreneur Academy
Today's guest is the industry expert when it comes to email marketing and list building. After more than a decade working in the hospitality industry, Nicole Barrett decided to leave her role as Regional Director of Sales to launch the Travelpreneur Academy, which teaches travel and tourism professionals how to grow and harness their email list. In this episode, she covers email marketing from A-Z, starting with why email marketing is so effective, what her top tips are for creating a powerful lead magnet, and how to design the perfect email sequence that will get you more sales with your ideal clients.
45:12
November 02, 2021
 015: Getting Started With Ghost Tours: Research, Routes, & a Real-Life Ghost Story! | Allison Jornlin of American Ghost Walks
015: Getting Started With Ghost Tours: Research, Routes, & a Real-Life Ghost Story! | Allison Jornlin of American Ghost Walks
Do you love going on ghost tours and think about someday leading one yourself, but worry that there aren't enough spooky stories to share where you live? Today's guest used to feel the same way, until she honed her research skills and learned how to uncover ghost stories in the most unlikely of places. Allison Jornlin launched Milwaukee Ghost Walks back in 2008, after a lifetime of interest in the paranormal. What started as a summer side hustle, has now evolved into American Ghost Walks, a hugely popular ghost tour ghost tour company that operates in more than a dozen cities and which Allison runs with her brother Mike. Today, she focuses on primarily on research and route development for new destinations. In this episode, Allison share's her best tips for researching for a ghost tour, her method for designing new routes, and how she deals with the ongoing challenge of managing customer expectations. And with Halloween just around the corner, I had to ask Allison to share a ghost story with our listeners, so stay tuned until the end to hear that!
26:45
October 26, 2021
014: How This Ex-Amazon Manager Launched Her Own Sustainable Tour Booking Platform | Hilary Matson of Yūgen Earthside
014: How This Ex-Amazon Manager Launched Her Own Sustainable Tour Booking Platform | Hilary Matson of Yūgen Earthside
Today's guest left her comfortable job at Amazon to launch a sustainable tour booking platform that connects eco-minded travelers with ethical tour operators around the world. Hilary Matson founded Yugen Earthside in 2020, despite a global pandemic and no prior experience in the travel industry. In this episode, she shares her process for screening new tour operators, some of the unexpected challenges of running an OTA, and the social media platform that has been most effective in helping her grow her business. Hilary also opens up about experiencing self doubt as a female entrepreneur and her biggest piece of advice for other women considering a dramatic career change.
37:45
October 19, 2021
013: How to 10x Tour Bookings With Pinterest | Louise Cottrell of Travel Pinners
013: How to 10x Tour Bookings With Pinterest | Louise Cottrell of Travel Pinners
If you run any type of travel business -- whether that be a travel planning agency or a tour business, a multi day retreat -- and you're NOT using Pinterest, I'm here to tell you today that you are sitting on a gold mine. Pinterest is an amazing lead generation tool,not just for bloggers or influencers, but for all travel brands Today, I chat with Louise Cottrell, who is a Pinterest expert who specialises in helping travel brands reach more clients and increase sales through Pinterest. As she says in this episode, Pinterest is a user-generated visual search engine -- not a social media platform -- which is why travel-related images and content do so well. And unlike Instagram or Facebook where the content you put out is only shown to your followers UNLESS you're using paid ads, Pinterest, by design, wants to make your content discoverable to new users. I think it's similar to TikTok's For You Page, in that sense. So it's much easier to get your content out to different users and to go viral -- without paying a cent! This episode is full of fantastic tips on how to harness Pinterest to create more leads for your business. Louise and I discuss how travel businesses can use Pinterest to increase bookings, the exact type of content you should be creating to generate more leads, and best practices for using Pinterest in 2021.
42:38
October 12, 2021
012: How Radical Course Correction Can Save Your Business | Priyanka Zielinski of Dubai By Foot
012: How Radical Course Correction Can Save Your Business | Priyanka Zielinski of Dubai By Foot
Today’s episode is a great one for anyone looking for inspiration on how to course correct when things go wrong in business.  The last nearly two years have put an incredible strain on the travel industry and businesses around the world have had to innovate to survive. This ability to be dynamic and adapt is absolutely essential in this environment, and I don’t think anyone does that better than Priyanka Zielinski. Pri and I speak specifically about the strategies she applied to save DC By Foot — and I’ll tell you now it involved completely reimagining their original business model. We also then talk about how she went on to found Dubai by foot and the ways in which she had to quickly adapt her business there once becoming more familiar with some of the cultural nuances of the city. Finally we discussed her new book while the Ultimate Family Business Survival Guide, which speaks on the pandemic and also more specifically on what family businesses in India need to do to survive. Pri is a master of adapting businesses in difficult situations and I think she offers a lot of incredible insight, especially for any tour businesses that work with OTAs , or online travel agencies such as Airbnb Experiences, Viator, or Get Your Guide. She really breaks down the strategies she used to optimize her tour listings on those pages and very quickly rise to the top of those platforms, this episode also includes lots of super actionable tips for that.
35:52
October 05, 2021
011: The Mindset Shift That Every Female Entrepreneur Needs to Hear | Yulia Denisyuk of Genius Womxn
011: The Mindset Shift That Every Female Entrepreneur Needs to Hear | Yulia Denisyuk of Genius Womxn
Hey everyone welcome back to episode 11 of the travel business lounge the place where we celebrate and learn from female entrepreneurs in the travel industry. Today's episode is especially close to my heart. I speak with Julia Denisyuk about the importance of women supporting one another and what can be achieved when we see each other as allies rather than competition. In addition to being an award winning travel writer and photographer, and a successful business owner, she is also the founder of the platform Genius Womxn, which is a community for creative women in the travel space to connect and learn from one another. SHOW NOTES: https://karablythe.com/travel-business-lounge/ FACEBOOK GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/323995252173500 INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/travelbusinesslounge/
35:48
September 28, 2021
010: Scaling A 6 Figure Business Through YouTube With Sarah Funk
010: Scaling A 6 Figure Business Through YouTube With Sarah Funk
Sarah Funk is a YouTube genius who has had incredible success with her travel channel, which is all about her hometown of New York City. We chat about how she went from being broke, living with her parents, and running a not-so-successful travel blog to developing multiple, lucrative income streams, and gaining more than 14 million views and 140k thousand subscribers in less than 3 years. This episode is great if you want to learn some really practical YouTube tips and strategies which can be applied to pretty much any travel business. Not only does she earn money as a travel content creator on YouTube, but she also has used YouTube to build a successful tour business in New York as well as a vacation planning service, in addition to many other travel-related income streams. She also shares tips for business owners who are just starting out and reveals the exact steps she took to earn MORE money through virtual tours than she would have normally with in-person tours during the pandemic. SHOW NOTES: https://karablythe.com/travel-business-lounge/ FACEBOOK GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/323995252173500 INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/travelbusinesslounge/
48:28
September 07, 2021
009: How This Reluctant Entrepreneur Transformed Her Passion Into A Profession | Anna Egleston of Above Yoga
009: How This Reluctant Entrepreneur Transformed Her Passion Into A Profession | Anna Egleston of Above Yoga
In this episode, we hear the story of how Anna Egleston, founder of Above Yoga, transitioned her business from a side hustle to a full-time gig. She is super honest about some of the struggles that she has dealt with since starting her business in 2017, including the fact that she never actually wanted to be a business owner. She enjoyed the security that a "normal" job offered her, but she just couldn't ignore her passion. So today you'll get to hear her story of taking that leap of faith during the pandemic. We discuss what pushed her to finally make the decision to go full time with her retreat business,what she learned after leading her first retreat, and how she's had to pivot her business during the pandemic to ensure that her guests are well taken care of and feel safe. She also shares her interest in giving back to society, practising inclusivity, sustainability, and community-mindedness.
54:19
August 31, 2021
008: Marketing Secrets From A Top-Selling Food Tour Business | Jessica Baumgart of Delicious Denver
008: Marketing Secrets From A Top-Selling Food Tour Business | Jessica Baumgart of Delicious Denver
Jessica Baumgart launched Delicious Denver Food Tours just 4 years ago after falling in love with food tours while traveling with her husband. "It was our new way to discover a new city," she reminisces. However, what started as a side hustle quickly evolved into a highly profitable business. And despite the incredible challenges imposed on both the tourism and hospitality industries in the last year of the pandemic, Delicious Denver has achieved the seemingly impossible: in July 2021, they hosted a record-breaking number of guests on their food tours. Jessica breaks down the exact marketing strategies she used to grow her food tour business with zero budget. She also reveals the exact pitch she uses to secure partnerships with popular local restaurants. Jessica then discusses the logistical challenges of running a food tour -- some of which may come as a surprise to new business owners. Finally, she discusses the ways in which her business has grown through hiring guides and outsourcing. SHOW NOTES: https://karablythe.com/travel-business-lounge/ FACEBOOK GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/323995252173500 INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/travelbusinesslounge/
50:17
August 24, 2021
007: Building a Business with Your Best Friend | Kristen & Megan of Legit Trips
007: Building a Business with Your Best Friend | Kristen & Megan of Legit Trips
Kristen and Megan first bonded over their love of travel and shared study abroad experiences. Now, more than 10 years later, they are not just best friends but business partners. In 2016 they founded Legit Trips, a boutique tour operator specialising in group trips for 30-40 somethings. The idea for the business came about on a beach in Belize, at the tail-end of a stressful trip with 18 of their friends. Knowing that the experience would have been much better if they had organised everything on behalf of everyone but also understanding the insane amount of work that would entail, Kristen and Megan came up with a plan: "we're coming back here next year and people will pay us for it." This is a great episode to listen to if you've ever considered going into business with a friend or are curious about the benefits of having a cofounder or business partner. They also share how their tour business achieved incredible organic growth.  SHOW NOTES: https://karablythe.com/travel-business-lounge/ FACEBOOK GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/323995252173500 INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/travelbusinesslounge/
51:39
August 17, 2021
006: Running a Successful Travel Agency As An Influencer | Amanda Bisack of Chica Travelista
006: Running a Successful Travel Agency As An Influencer | Amanda Bisack of Chica Travelista
Amanda Bisack first discovered her passion for travel while touring around the UK as a dancer. Fast forward 12 years and dozens of countries later, she is now a successful travel blogger and influencer running her own travel agency. In today's episode, Amanda shares how she got started in blogging and the ways in which she's managed to stand out in the competitive influencer market. She also offers great insight into how she launched her agency, Travelista Travels, and how her two businesses benefit one another. This is a great episode for anyone interested in influencer marketing or travel blogging. We've had a few guests speak about their experience running a boutique travel agency, but this is the first episode in which I chat with someone who has created a travel agency in partnership with a much larger travel brand. If you are interested in starting your own travel planning business but don't want to do it completely on your own and would prefer to have the backing of a bigger organisation, this is a great option that many young entrepreneurs often overlook. Amanda shares her experience running this type of business, plus tips on how she uses her agency to reach more brands as an influencer. She offers some really interesting insight on the relationship between travel bloggers and agents, so please don't miss out. SHOW NOTES: https://karablythe.com/travel-business-lounge/ FACEBOOK GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/323995252173500 INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/travelbusinesslounge/
36:59
August 10, 2021
005: How She Built Her Travel Empire | Kelly Lewis of Women's Travel Fest
005: How She Built Her Travel Empire | Kelly Lewis of Women's Travel Fest
Kelly Lewis is the woman doing it all. She is the founder of Go! Girl Guides, the first travel guidebook series written specifically for women. In 2014 she started Women's Travel Fest, the world's largest conference for women who travel. She then launched her own tour company called Damesly, which provides trips around the world for professional and creative women. And most recently, she has written a book called Tell Her She Can't, a manifesto dedicated to every woman who has ever been told she is not enough. If you think she sounds like a total badass paving the way for women within the travel space and beyond, you're absolutely correct. Kelly is a leader and champion for other women, who has the uncanny ability to balance a dozen different spinning plates at the same time. Today we hear how she got her start in travel, how she manages to do so many things at once, and how she finds the confidence to pursue her dreams. If you've ever felt trapped by the bigness of an idea -- whether that's starting a new business, writing a book, or perhaps just launching a new tour -- this is the episode for you. Kelly is such a go-getter that I promise you can't help but feel inspired to finally do that thing that you've been afraid to do. SHOW NOTES: https://karablythe.com/travel-business-lounge/ FACEBOOK GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/323995252173500 INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/travelbusinesslounge/
51:04
August 03, 2021
004: Instagram Strategies for Personal Branding as a Travel Advisor | Brianna Glenn of Milk + Honey
004: Instagram Strategies for Personal Branding as a Travel Advisor | Brianna Glenn of Milk + Honey
Today I have the absolute pleasure of speaking with Brianna Glenn of Milk + Honey, a boutique travel planning agency based in California that specialises in completely customised trips. As you'll hear in the episode, I originally learned about Milk + Honey on Instagram. A friend of mine shared her experience of traveling with them and I was blown away by the personal touches and attention to detail. I reached out to Brianna right away and was thrilled when she agreed to chat to me. This episode is jam packed with tips on digital marketing as a travel brand. Brianna is an absolute hive mind of knowledge on everything related to personal branding and social media. If you want to hear her strategies for finding clients through Instagram and attracting her ideal customer avatar, then you won't want to miss it. SHOW NOTES: https://karablythe.com/travel-business-lounge/ FACEBOOK GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/323995252173500 INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/travelbusinesslounge/
42:31
July 27, 2021
003: How This Tour Start-Up Became the Top Rated Airbnb Experience in NOLA | Quinn LaRoux of NOLA Drag Tours
003: How This Tour Start-Up Became the Top Rated Airbnb Experience in NOLA | Quinn LaRoux of NOLA Drag Tours
In today's episode I speak with Quinn Laroux of NOLA Drag Tours -- New Orleans' first drag tour company, which focuses on sharing the city's queer and feminist history. Within the first few months of launching, NOLA Drag Tours was met with resounding success and became the number 1 activity on Airbnb experiences in New Orleans. This is an impressive feat for any start-up tour company, but especially impressive to achieve in New Orleans, which is probably one of the most highly competitive tourism destinations in the country. Quinn talks us through her experience launching a walking tour company, including the major challenges she faced as a queer woman running this business on her own. She also shares an absolutely genius marketing strategy she used to organically grow NOLA Drag Tours so quickly. It's so simple but effective, and something that never would have crossed my mind, so I promise you'll want to stick around to hear it. Now, this episode was originally recorded in the fall of 2020 and unfortunately Quinn is no longer taking bookings for NOLA Drag Tours. The good news is that she's found another job doing something else that she loves after an incredibly difficult year in the tourism industry. Still, her tours will be very much missed. SHOW NOTES: https://karablythe.com/travel-business-lounge/ FACEBOOK GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/323995252173500 INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/travelbusinesslounge/
45:24
July 20, 2021
002: Launching A SURPRISE Travel Agency From Scratch | Charlotte McGhee of Whisked Away
002: Launching A SURPRISE Travel Agency From Scratch | Charlotte McGhee of Whisked Away
Today's guest is Charlotte McGhee, the founder of Whisked Away, which is a travel agency that exclusively plans mystery trips for clients. Her customers literally have no idea where they're going until it's time to travel, making for a super fun surprise! I had never heard of the concept of surprise travel before discovering Whisked Away, but I absolutely love the idea and think Charlotte has done an amazing job building this business from the ground up. If you've ever dreamed of one day starting your own online travel agency, or maybe you just love planning trips for people and want to know how to turn that passion into a profitable business, then definitely listen in. Charlotte is an open book and really dives into some of the challenges she's faced and what she's learned since starting her mystery travel business in 2017. SHOW NOTES: https://karablythe.com/travel-business-lounge/ FACEBOOK GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/323995252173500 INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/travelbusinesslounge/
39:18
July 20, 2021
001: How Free Tours By Foot Grew From 2k to 72k Bookings Per Month | Canden Arciniega of Free Tours by Foot
001: How Free Tours By Foot Grew From 2k to 72k Bookings Per Month | Canden Arciniega of Free Tours by Foot
In today's episode I have the absolute pleasure of speaking to Canden Arciniega, my good friend and former boss, who is the co-owner and COO of Free Tours by Foot, a 'name your own price' walking tour company that operates in more than a dozen cities around the US and Europe. I actually got my start in the travel industry with Free Tours by Foot back in 2012 as a tour guide in Washington, DC, so this episode is especially dear to my heart. Canden shares how name your own price tours work, including the major benefits and challenges of running this type of business. We'll also learn about the game changing strategy Free Tours by Foot used to increase bookings from 2k per month in 2011 to over 70k per month in the lead up to COVID-19. Now unfortunately there was an issue with my mic at the very start of the recording, so I wasn't able to capture the first few minutes of me welcoming Canden onto the show and us chatting about our adventures in DC. However, the good news is that this means she'll need to come back for another future episode so we can finally share the story of the phantom snake attack from our 6 day cycle ride from DC to Pittsburgh. But the even better news is that the content of this episode is especially good and super actionable. If you're interested in starting a walking tour company or you're looking to expand your current company into different locations, or if you'd like to learn how to diversify your income (because as Canden reveals, there are many other ways to make money as a walking tour business, beyond just through tour bookings) then definitely tune in. Plus at the end she shares some incredible productivity hacks, so make sure you stick around for that. Honestly, she is the most well organized and highly productive person I know, so you definitely won't want to miss her tips. SHOW NOTES: https://karablythe.com/travel-business-lounge/ FACEBOOK GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/323995252173500 INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/travelbusinesslounge/
01:07:02
July 20, 2021
Welcome to the Travel Business Lounge!
Welcome to the Travel Business Lounge!
Welcome to the Travel Business Lounge, a place that celebrates female entrepreneurs doing big things in the tourism industry and that aims to inspire other women to do the same. Ever wondered… How to launch a successful tour company? How to increase bookings and scale your business? How to get paid to travel? How to use social media to boost sales and connect with clients? How to start your own travel agency from scratch? And, most importantly, how to turn your passion for travel into a lucrative business? The Travel Business Lounge is where we answer all of these questions and more. Tune in each week as your host, Kara Myers, interviews women whose businesses are leading the way in the travel industry. Speaking from experience, each guest shares business hacks, marketing strategies, and productivity tips that that will help you take immediate action in starting and scaling the travel business of your dreams. As you listen to their successes and struggles, you'll learn what it takes to make a profit as a travel agent, tour operator, or travel blogger in today's world. Grab a coffee, hit subscribe, and get ready to learn and feel inspired.
02:18
October 27, 2020